November 5, 2020 Serrano Valley

One of my goals as an iNaturalist user is to document species in under-reported areas. Or at least do so when it's feasible. Going to a new area is always a bit of an unknown but I usually look forward to seeing something new and exploring a different area.

In that quest, I set off for Serrano Valley up in the Point Mugu area. After a bit of a white-knuckle drive up Deer Valley Road (it made Decker Canyon Road seem pretty tame and after the first 1.5 miles, it becomes very narrow---basically just a bit wider than a one lane road--thankfully I only ran into one car coming in the opposite direction) I eventually found Serrano Road.

It was not easy to find, particularly because this small unmaintained road had a street sign totally not visible from the road going in. Even after I had to turn around after I realized I must have missed it, I almost overlooked it again as the street sign was totally bent at a 90 degree angle at the top, so you couldn't even read the name of the street. I had to stop the car and bend my head so I was looking up towards the sky and I could barely make out part of the letters on the sign.

With a bit of trepidation I proceeded down the road to the locked gate and parked. Knowing that I was probably only inland about 5 miles I expected the weather to be fairly nice. Was I in for a shock. I opened the car door and it was hot--very hot. Though the car temperature said it was 86 outside, the air was very still and "close" and the occasional breeze was hot. Still I had driven a long way to get here so I decided to go for it.

The trail down into the valley was exactly that--all down hill. Normally I wouldn't have minded as it was not all that steep, but the thought of coming back up the hill in the heat was not appealing at all. Anyway, I did go to the bottom of the valley and walked a bit on the trail but to be honest, there was absolutely nothing stirring. I wasn't sure if it was the location or the weather but I'm convinced it had to be the weather as the habitat looked quite good. There was a lot of coastal buckwheat and I didn't see too many invasives.

This area had burned thoroughly in the 2013 Spring fire so I could still see charred remains of trees in a few places. Overall though, the valley was filled with vegetation including a line of sycamores and willows which apparently follow a seasonal stream.

Unfortunately I found nothing new or unique--probably owing to the weather and the fact that I only walked a half mile due to the heat. When I returned to the car it was now 97. (I spent a fair amount of time along the trail both up and down trying to find things so I was out there about an hour).

I may return here when the weather is better or after a substantial rain as it is a very beautiful serene area. I will not look forward though to the drive back down to PCH as it was even more nerve wracking than the drive in. One wrong turn and you're over the side!

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, November 07, 2020 01:26

Comments

Correction: it’s Deer Creek Road, NOT Deer Valley Road.

Posted by naturephotosuze about 1 year ago (Flag)

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